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Welcome back, soon-to-be-once-again Weekenders!
You know things are bad out there when the destination for our collective escapism is frickin’ Westeros.
Some “GoT” fans are nursing a “quaint hunger for a peaceful resolution.” Others are praying to the God of Death for just one more Drogon-size serving of fire and blood. I’m still coming to terms with the fact that a zany Brienne and Tormund rom-com spinoff is likely not on the table. We all cope with loss in our own way.
But don’t let the collapse of some (quite literally) lousy fantasy realm get you down. The real world is still standing (if just barely), and it happens to have all sorts of stuff lined up this weekend.
IZZARD BRAIN: On Friday night, you can catch the indomitable English comic Eddie Izzard, who brings his epoch-spanning new show, “Wunderbar,” to the stage of the Boch Center Wang Theatre. The tour is a “last hurrah of sorts” as the performer and recently seated Labour Party official has announced his return to politics (if not in the form of the London mayoral run he teased years ago). Suffice it to say, Izzard’s act is light years more fabulous than the average stump speech. Find tickets here.
CONTEMPORARY HEART: If you’ve already been swept away by Boston Ballet’s “Cinderella,” you can explore another side of the company with “Rhapsody,” a program with a focus on neo-classical and contemporary works, including the world premiere of “ELA, Rhapsody in Blue,” choreographed by principal dancer Paulo Arrais, as well as a trio of works from Soviet choreographer Leonid Yakobson, and George Balanchine’s “Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2.” This show is also Boston’s last chance to see principal dancer Kathleen Breen Combes, who is retiring to become the new executive director of Festival Ballet Providence after 16 years with the company. “Rhapsody” is up through June 9 at the Citizens Bank Opera House
KING RICHARD: If you’re looking to make a mini-music festival of this weekend, the next four items are for you. Start out Friday night at the Cabot Theatre in Beverly for an appearance by Brit-folk titan (and father of Fairport Convention) Richard Thompson. He’ll be taking a solo acoustic stroll through a half-century of hits that helped shape a genre, as well as cuts from his latest (and one of his greatest) albums, last year’s “13 Rivers.” Grab tickets here.
SISTER ACT: For something completely different, you can catch the ever-effervescent pop duo Aly & AJ on Saturday night at the Paradise. In the decade or so since the sparkly teen-pop ditties that first launched them into stardom, the sisters and their sound have matured significantly, blurring the lens and toning down the sparkle in favor of chest-pounders like “Don’t Go Changing” (which suggests they got their hands on a copy of “Hounds of Love”). Grab tickets here.
GREAT SCOT: On Sunday at the Sinclair, you can see a longtime Globe fave, Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall (for a date rescheduled from last November). Tunstall has come a long way since her 2004 breakthrough “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree,” and is currently working toward the final chapter in her lauded trilogy of “KIN” albums – the latest being the “body”-focused “WAX.” (For a pre-show jolt of sugary pop with a side of more sugar, get there early for opener Maddie Ross.) Grab tickets here.
LONDON CALLING: Or, for an actual music festival experience, you can scare up some resales for Frank Turner’s Lost Evenings III, which relocates from London to Boston for the first time, and features performances from Turner and his Sleeping Souls, Loudon Wainwright III, The Hold Steady, John K. Samson, Against Me!, and others, as well as an open mic and a pop-up tattoo shop (guess which one might scar you for life?). It runs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the House of Blues, the House of Blues Foundation Room, and Bill’s Bar and Lounge.
SHOW OF FORCE: Brothers Daniel and Patrick Lazour have been penning musicals together since their teen years in Boylston, but this weekend finds their careers shifting to a new stage. Namely, the American Repertory Theater, which presents the world premiere of “We Live in Cairo,” the Lazours’ new work based on the events of the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. The show has already earned the prestigious Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater, so catch it now before they get some fancy new place on Broadway. It’s up at the Loeb Drama Center in Cambridge through June 23; grab tickets here.
HISTORICAL LENS: At the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art in Cambridge, you can catch “Gordon Parks: Selections From the Dean Collection,” an exhibition that Globe writer Cate McQuaid says “reflects the terrific breadth of Parks’s photographic oeuvre, which includes glamorous fashion shots alongside documentary images attuned to poverty and civil rights.” It’s a stunner, and it’s up through July 19. More information here.
TRUE STORY: And lastly, lest you film folks think I’ve abandoned you (I just wanted to make you read the whole thing because I’m actually quite evil), there’s “Non-Fiction,” the welcome reunion of Juliette Binoche and Guillame Canet with director Olivier Assayas, which Globe film critic Ty Burr gives three stars and says “couldn’t be more French if it were served au jus.” “If you’re not attuned to a movie of ideas — even playfully spoofed haut-bourgeois ideas,” he writes, “you’ll probably want to give this subtitled talkathon a pass.” For the rest of us, it’s “a fond comedy of manners and pretentions, a film for literate audiences that gently bites the hands that buy the tickets.” Now screening.
OR STAY IN! I don’t even want to know what type of snacks you’re preparing for Sunday night’s mayhem (and no I don’t want a finger sandwich).
For a warm-up to that carnage, starting Friday you can take in the George Clooney-produced adaptation of Joseph Heller’s 1961 novel “Catch-22,” a six-episode miniseries Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert praises for doing justice “to both its terror in the air . . . and its cleverly absurdist humor.” He writes, “It’s a fine piece of work that stands solidly on its own as a collection of intertwined set pieces that build chronologically to an emotionally devastating climax.” (Christopher Abbott fans, report for duty.)
For the tale of a fighting hero who never once had to lop anybody’s head off with a scythe (that I know of), check out “What’s My Name | Muhammad Ali,” Antoine Fuqua’s masterful two-part documentary on the legendary heavyweight champion. Globe contributor Peter Keough says “it not only dances like a butterfly and stings like a bee but is also exquisitely thought out, precisely timed, and has the pacing not of a horse race but an epic.” It premiered this past week on HBO, but you can find additional airtimes here.
And if you’d rather be bludgeoned this weekend by dry British wit than . . . a bludgeon, consider sinking into the second season of Phoebe Waller’s “Fleabag,” available Friday on Amazon. The first six-episode season made Gilbert’s Top 10 of 2016.
And that, soon to be blood-spattered Weekenders, is all I’ve got in the quiver this week.
Condolences in advance for your favorite character getting disemboweled and set ablaze and fed to zombie dragons or whatever. And however you decide to spend your weekend, make it one you’ll miss come Monday!
See you next time!Michael Andor Brodeur can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @MBrodeur.